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Improved makes health information quicker to find and easier to use

Research Activities, January 2009, No. 341

An improved and more accessible version of, ( a Federal Web site designed to help people stay healthy, is now available. Supported by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Web site's new design and interactive health management tools make information resources more accessible and easier to use for consumers and professionals.

Features on include links to over 6,000 government and nonprofit health information resources on hundreds of health topics. Information is in English and Spanish. The improvements will help users find what they want on those sites. For instance, the Quick Guide to Healthy Living uses everyday language and examples to:

  • Tell users how taking small steps to improve health can lead to big benefits.
  • Motivate users by showing them the benefits of incorporating healthy behaviors into their lives.
  • Provide tools and encouragement, such as personal health calculators, menu planners and recipes, tips for caregivers, and printable lists of questions to take to the doctor.

Another new tool offered on the site is myhealthfinder, which provides personalized recommendations for clinical preventive services specific to the user's age, gender, and pregnancy status. Based on their profiles, users may receive anywhere from 5 to 15 recommendations. This feature was developed through a joint effort between HHS' Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). The feature provides evidence-based recommendations from the AHRQ-sponsored U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, an independent panel of experts in prevention and primary care.

The redesign of was based on proven clear communication practices. In addition, several possible versions of the Web site and the new prevention content were consumer tested to ensure that the site is user friendly and that people can find what they are looking for. As a result, is easy to understand and navigate, especially for consumers with limited health literacy.

Since 1997, has been recognized as a key resource for finding the best government and nonprofit health information on the Internet. It has been certified by HONcode, the oldest and most used ethical and trustworthy code for medical and health related information available on Internet. It has also been recognized by the Medical Library Association as one of the top 10 most useful Web sites for consumers.

Current as of January 2009
Internet Citation: Improved makes health information quicker to find and easier to use: Research Activities, January 2009, No. 341. January 2009. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.